Friday, June 21, 2024

Wall Street rises with global markets; Big Tech leads again

by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is starting August with more gains, and U.S. stocks are climbing in early Monday trading following encouraging reports from around the world on the economy.

The S&P 500 was 0.7% higher, tacking more gains onto its four-month winning streak, with Big Tech once again leading the way. Treasury yields also ticked higher in a sign of lessened pessimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 215 points, or 0.8%, at 26,643, as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern time, and the gains for tech stocks helped the Nasdaq composite jump 1.3%.

Many competing currents are pushing the market in different directions, but the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy remain the most forceful.

Reports showed that European manufacturing strengthened more in July than economists expected, which helped to lift markets globally. The gains built after a follow-up report showed U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated last month at a faster pace than economists expected. The reports added to evidence that the global economy at least temporarily halted its freefall from earlier this year.

Earlier in the day, a private survey which showed China’s manufacturing activity also grew at a faster rate in July than expected.

In Washington, meanwhile, slow, grinding negotiations on a huge relief effort for the U.S. economy are set to resume on Monday. Both the Trump administration negotiating team and top Capitol Hill Democrats reported progress over the weekend, though differences remain. At least several more days of talks are expected.

The discussions have taken on more urgency because $600 in weekly benefits for laid-off workers from the federal government have expired, just as the number of layoffs ticks up across the country amid a resurgence of coronavirus counts and business restrictions.

Big Tech has remained almost immune to such concerns, though, driving higher through the pandemic on expectations that it can continue to grow.

Microsoft jumped 3.8% after it confirmed that it’s in talks to buy the U.S. arm of TikTok, a Chinese-owned video app that is very popular but that also has drawn the White House’s scrutiny. Microsoft said its CEO, Satya Nadella, has talked with President Donald Trump about it, and the tech giant expects the talks with TikTok to end no later than Sept. 15 either with a deal or not.

Apple added 4.6%, piling more gains onto its 10.5% gain Friday following a blowout report showing that its profits during the spring easily topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Those two stocks are the biggest in the U.S. stock market, which gives their movements huge sway over indexes. The pair alone accounted for about two-thirds of the S&P 500’s morning gain.

Health care stocks were also strong, with Varian Medical surging 21.7% for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. Germany-based Siemens Healthineers said it will buy the cancer therapy and research company in a deal worth roughly $16.4 billion.

Germany’s DAX stock index returned 2.3% following the strong reports on European manufacturing. France’s CAC 40 rose 1.6%, and the FTSE 100 in London gained 1.6%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.2%, South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.1% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 0.6%. Stocks in Shanghai rose 1.8%

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.56% from 0.53% late Friday.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 1.3% to $40.78 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, was up 0.2% at $43.61 per barrel.

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